Guardians Team-Up 5, by Andy Lanning, Andy Schmidt..."/> Guardians Team-Up 5, by Andy Lanning, Andy Schmidt..."/>

Marvel Pick Of The Week – May 6, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Guardians Team-Up 5, by Andy Lanning, Andy Schmidt, and Gustavo Duarte

The Marvel Universe died this week. It’s true. I saw it happen myself. In Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars, everyone was fighting, and people were dying all over the place, and everything went white, and a title card said “Marvel Universe, 1961-2015.” It was a great comic, and it was a dark end to the company I have been reading for over twenty years.

I choose this week to celebrate by picking a book that represents the humor and heart that Marvel has delivered over the decades. In Guardians Team-Up 5, Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo the telepathic Russian space-dog join forces with the Pet Avengers to rescue a six-pack of the best beer in the galaxy from a wicked assortment of evil pets including Thori the Hellhound, the singular best thing to come out of Kieron Gillen’s run on Journey Into Mystery.

The book was full of great jokes for a range of ages. Adults will laugh at the intensity of Rocket’s need to recover his beer and at the splash page of the Pet Avengers playing poker like that dog painting. Kids will enjoy the humor of cartoony animals like a vulture dressed as Doctor Doom or a big radioactive arachnid named Bitey McSpidey-Bite.

But more, this book marks so much of the history of the Marvel Universe. Take Rocket, who was a Mantlo creation who became a breakout star in last summer’s hottest movie after decades in comic obscurity. Or the Pet Avenger Lockjaw, who represents the Inhumans, a collection of weirdos from the sixties who are now backed to replace the X-Men as the dominant group in the Marvel Universe based on developments in the theater. Or Furball, Speedball’s wacky bouncing cat, and Throg, a frog with the power of Thor, who represent the joyful creativity of the eighties. Or the Red Ghost’s evil ape, who reminds us about the kooky adventures where the Fantastic Four took on an intangible Communist who commanded super-powered simians against them.

I’m not naive. The summer crossover will happen, and the comic line will shake up but return to a status pretty much the same as the one we’ve known. But first, it’s going to be a rough few months of pitched battle, and I am grateful for the drink before the war.

Honorable Mentions:

Ant-Man 5, for setting the bar of difficulty at Battletoads level 3. That level was impossible, and it’s so nice to see this validated in print.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 5, for this moment in a series of delightful parody stories that asks, “What if Squirrel Girl picked up the Venom costume in the original Secret Wars?”

Rocket Raccoon 11, because a lot of my friends are going through final exams and need this sequence of panels to express their pain.

All-New Captain America Special 1, because Jeff Loveness writes the funniest Spider-Man since Dan Slott. Let’s get him on the next movie version.

Catch up on the Picks of previous weeks here!

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